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Savannah mayor ready to collect on unpaid water bills

Mayor Van Johnson says the city of Savannah is ready to collect on unpaid water bills.
Mayor Van Johnson says the city of Savannah is ready to collect on unpaid water bills.(WTOC)
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 3:39 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Mayor Van Johnson says the city of Savannah is ready to collect on unpaid water bills.

During his weekly media update Tuesday, the mayor says the city is facing a deficit of more than $25 million in the water, sewer, and sanitation funds. He says that deficit is mostly due to the city’s pledge to not shut off water for unpaid bills in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Mayor Johnson says it’s time for the city to start collecting on past due balances.

“You can’t continue to have water that you’re not paying for. And so the only carrot stick that we had was obviously turning off the water. So I think we are at the point now that we have to start collecting those funds. So we’re saying to either do one of two things: make arrangements with us or start paying that bill. We have to start getting those bills down,” Mayor Johnson said.

Mayor Johnson says there have been numerous federal and state programs to help pay utility bills through the pandemic, as well as funding from city programs.

He adds many of the unpaid balances have been outstanding since 2019.

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